New handbooks that outline policies for Great Bend USD 428 students, teachers, athletics and activities were approved with little fanfare at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Superintendent Brad Reed noted that, in accordance with board policy, this was the second reading of the handbooks that were introduced at the March board meeting.
“The board’s had a month to look at these,” Reed said, adding he had not received any questions.
The board also approved its first Chromebook Handbook, which was presented for the first time in March as well. This fall, middle school and high school students will be issued Chromebook personal computer devices and will be responsible for their care and appropriate use.
Monday was also the board’s second reading of two curriculum/textbook adoptions. In March, teachers on curriculum committees presented their research and recommendations for the next math curriculum for grades 7-12 and the foreign language adoption for 9-12. Both include online resources as well as traditional paper products and are reportedly aligned to rigorous standards.
The cost for the math curriculum is $198,686 for the next seven years. The cost for German and Spanish materials, including a course in advanced Spanish for Spanish speakers, is $29,801.
In other business, the board:
• Awarded the bid for four sections of roofing at Great Bend High School to the only contractor that submitted a bid, Washington Roofing and Insulation, Great Bend, for $121,880. The project will occur during the summer.
• Approved a resolution to extend the term of office for any elected board member whose term would expire at any time in 2017 until the second Monday in January of 2018, when newly elected members of the governing body and other newly elected officials would take office.
• Accepted the donations of community members who have funded a give-away of bicycles at each elementary school for the past three years. The bikes are given away in drawings at the end of the school year, but only students with perfect attendance throughout the year are eligible.
Other contributions accepted included $2,778 from the Golden Belt Community Foundation for the purchase of timing equipment for the swim program; $500 from Farmers Bank and Trust and $500 from First Kansas Bank to the district’s One District One Book initiative; and $200 from 10th Street Eye Care Center to Riley Elementary School’s sign fund.
Reed noted that the Great Bend USD 428 Education Foundation has also made 34 donations totaling about $33,000, in the form of mini-grants to teachers and to the One District One Book initiative.
“Last week we went to all eight schools and surprised the mini-grant winners,” Reed said. The mini-grants help with all sorts of education projects that are not in the regular budgets. Reed concluded, “This is a very, very generous community and this is just one outlet for it.”
• Approved the purchase of five additional Automated External Defibrillators, at a total cost of $8,825, to be placed at the five elementary schools. With these AEDs, the district would have one unit at each district site occupied by students. The new AEDs will include regular paddles as well as smaller ones suitable for young patients. School nurses will train the staff on their use.
• Accepted resignations from Katherine Hughes, fourth grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School, and from Richard Mehringer, GBHS art teacher.
• Approved teacher appointments for: Amber Kasselman, teacher of technology (STEM) at Great Bend Middle School; Kathleen Moore, Reading Interventions teacher at GBHS; Max Chamberlain, vocal music instructor at GBMS; Tanner Dahlke, and Rose Debes, Barton County Special Services instructors; Ann Dreees, language arts teacher, GBHS; Taylor Habiger, Jefferson third grade teacher; Kevin Hoff, agriculture and welding instructor at GBHS; Abigail Morrison, kindergarten teacher at Jefferson; Carrie Shinogle, first grade teacher at Jefferson; and Rachel Thexton, school counselor at GBHS.